With the summer tennis season just weeks away, Harold Solomon of the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, answers a question on evaluating options among the wide variety of programs available during this season.
Q. I have a junior player who will be turning 13 and she is very driven and dedicated to tennis. She stopped all her additional sports to concentrate on tennis. She wants to take her game to the next level. We are considering sending her to a tennis academy in Florida or California for part of the summer. We are doing research on all of them, but I keep hearing that you end up with other kids and they keep the year-round kids separate and it's a waste of money. Can you give us some advice about this situation?
A. Since I own my academy I can speak to how we run our summer program.
We always look to put players together with other players of similar abilities no matter how long they are with us. Since we only have 2 players on a court in our career development program, it is essential that they are able to do similar types of work on their games. We also have a program with 4 players on a court, but we strive to have similar levels to make it more fun and productive.
We think that integrating a more diverse group of players into the mix is bonus for our regular students. At some academies most of the full-time students go away for the summer, so the great majority of students are new students from around the country and there isn't the opportunity to have the summer students interact on the court with the full time players. Because we are a smaller academy with highly ranked national players, most of whom are with us for a substantial part of the summer, we welcome new competition with open arms.
Take advantage of the opportunity to have one of the best American players of his generation and one of the nation's most respected coaches answer your questions about junior tennis and player development. If you have a question for Harold Solomon, please send it to clewis[at]zootennis[dot]com with the phrase Coach's Q and A in the subject line.